Auto companies cautiously began to get back to work last week in China, even as the deadly coronavirus continued spreading rapidly worldwide.
But it remained unclear how quickly China's sprawling industry will be able to fully rebound, with millions of citizens — including auto workers — restricted in their movement as the country attempts to control the illness.
As of Saturday, the virus has killed more than 1,500 people and infected more than 60,000 worldwide, mostly in China, with 20,000 new cases reported in just two days.
Many auto companies and suppliers that have attempted to resume work still face challenges.
Production of batteries for electrified powertrains is at particular risk, according to research firm Anderson Economic Group. An analysis released last week by Anderson warned that Tesla could be the most challenged of the five non-Chinese automakers operating in China — both due to production in China of its key electrical components and due to it having an exclusively battery-electric vehicle model line.
"The lithium ion batteries required for the BEV drivetrain travel thousands of miles between manufacturing and assembly," the analysis said. "While assembly usually takes place in the country where the batteries will be installed in an electric vehicle, the preceding journey is extensive, and is heavily reliant upon Chinese companies."